Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse, hosts Grambling State
|vs. Grambling State|
|Dec. 9 // 2 p.m.|
|Jayhawk Radio Network|
LAWRENCE, Kan. — After a two-game road swing, Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse to host Grambling State on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast on the Jayhawk Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
Kansas faces the Lady Tigers for the first time under head coach Brandon Schneider and since 2012. KU owns a perfect 5-0 record against Grambling State. All fans that bring an unwrapped toy to donate for Toys for Tots will receive free admission to Sunday’s game.
- Kansas suffered its first loss of the season at Nebraska (12/5). The Huskers ended the Jayhawks’ win streak for the second-straight season.
- KU’s 6-1 start has garnered national attention as the Jayhawks are receiving votes in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP Poll.
- The Jayhawks have been getting out to a fast start, outscoring their opponents 141-78 in the first quarter.
- Five Jayhawks are averaging nine or more points to start the season, including Jessica Washington and Mariane De Carvalho who are the lone Kansas players averaging double figures with 15.4 and 10.3 points, respectively.
- Senior Christalah Lyons leads the league in assist/turnover ratio at 4.6, dishing out 26 assists with just six turnovers on the season. Lyons is averaging 3.7 assists, which is the 10th best in the Big 12 Conference.
- Senior Kylee Kopatich nearly posted a double-double against Nebraska, leading the Jayhawks with 14 points and nine rebounds.
- Five Kansas players are shooting 33.3 percent or better from long range, including Jessica Washington, Mariane De Carvalho, Kylee Kopatich, Austin Richardson and Brooklyn Mitchell.
- Kansas is second in the league with 10.6 steals per game.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS
After opening the season undefeated, the Jayhawks were handed their first loss of the season by Nebraska for the second year in a row. Kansas’ experienced roster, including seven seniors, has garnered national attention, receiving votes in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP Poll. Offensively, Kansas has five players that are averaging nine or more points led by sixth-year senior Jessica Washington with 15.4 points a game. On the defensive end, sophomore Bailey Helgren serves as Kansas’ rim protector with a team-leading 11 blocks and 7.6 rebounds per game.
SCOUTING THE LADY TIGERS
Grambling State is led by a duo of double-digit scorers in Shakyla Hill and Jazmin Boyd. Hill leads the Lady Tigers with 15.6 points per game behind 40.6 percent shooting from the field. Hill also boasts a team-leading 23 assists. Boyd is averaging 10 points and is shooting 90.9 percent from the charity stripe. Collectively, the Tigers struggle from long range, shooting just 25.8 percent and average 22.4 turnovers per game. Grambling State has just one win on the season and has faced two SEC opponents on the road at Auburn and at Alabama. The Lady Tigers look to pick up their second win and first win on the road during their trip to Lawrence.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS WOMEN’S BASKETBALL HISTORY
Record on Dec. 9: 4-2
On Dec. 9, 1989, the Jayhawks defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks, 56-51 behind a double-double from Terrilyn Johnson, who scored 11 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Kansas’ senior-heavy roster has garnered some national attention, as the Jayhawks are receiving votes in both the USA Today Coaches’ and the AP Top-25 Polls. KU received 14 points in the preseason poll, voted on by The USA TODAY Sports Board of Coaches made up of 32 head coaches at Division I institutions and has 12 votes in the third poll of the season. The Jayhawks have received votes every week of the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, while their one vote in the AP Poll marks their first appearance in the poll this season. Kansas is receiving votes in the polls for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Coming off a season-ending injury, sixth year Jessica Washington is averaging a team-leading 15.4 points, while also recording 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in just five games. The Tulsa, Oklahoma native earned Big 12 Player of the Week honors in week three after posting her third career 30-point performance against George Mason (11/21) including four-straight 3-pointers to start the game. Washington has netted double figures in four of the five games she’s appeared in this season.
THE FLOOR GENERAL
Coming off of an impressive junior campaign where she garnered All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honors, senior guard Christalah Lyons has settled into a groove leading the Kansas offense this season. Lyons is averaging 9.0 points, while dishing out 3.7 assists per game so far this season. The Dallas native has just six turnovers thus far, while dishing out 26 assists, for the best assist to turnover ratio in the Big 12 Conference and the 15th best in the nation.
WELCOME TO THE BLOCK PARTY
With sophomore Bailey Helgren leading Kansas’ defensive efforts, the Jayhawks are fifth in the Big 12 with 4.7 blocked shots per game. Helgren along with redshirt-freshman Brittany Franklin and senior Austin Richardson all rank among the top-15 rim protectors in the league. Averaging 1.6 blocks, Helgren is fourth in the Big 12, while Franklin (10th) is averaging 1.2 and Richardson (11th) is averaging 1.1 blocks.
Kansas has put on stifling defensive performances game in and game out thus far in the 2018-19 season. The Jayhawks boast the third-best 3-point field goal percentage defense in the Big 12 and rank among the top-50 in the nation, holding their opponents to 27.5 percent from long range. Three Jayhawks rank among the top-15 in steals, while KU is second as a team in the steals category. Kylee Kopatich (T-4th), Brianna Osorio (T-9th), and Christalah Lyons (T-11th) are all averaging over 1.6 steals per game. Kopatich leads the Jayhawks with 2.0 steals per game.
The Jayhawks have forced an impressive 138 turnovers this season, including forcing a season-high 22 turnovers at LSU. While Kansas has been forcing a lot of turnovers, they have limited their own. The Jayhawks are one of two teams in the Big 12 with less than 100 turnovers on the season with 88. West Virginia is the only team with fewer with 67. KU’s 88 turnovers are the 13th fewest in the nation, while Kansas is second in the Big 12 and 28th in the nation in turnover margin.
The Jayhawks head to Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert on Dec. 19-20. Kansas will face off with Washington State on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Cox Pavilion before taking on either Northwestern or Wichita State on Thursday, Dec. 20. Both games will air on the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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